Noble set for Fax role?

11 April 2010..........  Wakefield Wildcats v Crusaders'Brian Noble
11 April 2010.......... Wakefield Wildcats v Crusaders'Brian Noble

HALIFAX are believed to be close to appointing the former Great Britain, Bradford, Wigan and Crusaders boss Brian Noble to their staff ahead of Sunday’s Carnegie Challenge Cup showdown with the Bulls.

Courier Sport understands Noble, who has been out of work since leaving Wrexham last autumn after managing to guide the Welsh side to a shock top-eight berth, could link with Fax as soon as today.

Fax’s directors apparently held crisis talks in the wake of last weekend’s Championship loss to Barrow, their sixth reverse in seven league starts, and have now tabled a short-term deal that would see a ‘major’ figure, almost certainly Noble, join the club as a football troubleshooter.

But the role of current head coach Matt Calland is definitely not under threat, according to Fax chairman Michael Steele.

Steele refused to discuss the chances of Noble joining the club, labelling the suggestion as “pure speculation”, but was adamant that Calland, who took the club to its first significant trophy in 23 years last September, is not about to be sacked.

“There is no question of Matt’s position as head coach being under threat in any way at all,” said Steele.

“Beyond that, I have no comment to make.”

If the move does come off, it will be arguably Fax’s biggest backroom appointment since another GB boss, Malcolm Reilly, was lured to the club by Tony Gartland almost 20 years ago.

Noble, who almost joined Fax as an assistant in the Steve Simms-era, is widely regarded as one of the best British coaches in the game.

He has also worked with Calland before, having been a member of the Bulls’ coaching staff when the Fax coach was a player at Odsal in the 1990s.

Hull head coach Richard Agar has been fined £6,000 by the Rugby Football League for criticising a referee.

The fine, £3,000 of which is payable immediately with the rest suspended until the end of the season, was imposed by a Rugby Football League tribunal.

It followed criticism by Agar of referee James Child after his side’s 20-18 defeat in an Engage Super League fixture at the KC Stadium.